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Writing a Persuasive Essay

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1 Writing a Persuasive Essay
The purpose of writing a persuasive essay is to influence or change a reader's thoughts or opinions on a particular topic. The most successful persuasive writing is always well planned. This planning should include choosing a topic, researching the topic thoroughly, and finally, making a T-chart and mapping out the structure of the writing.

2 Choose an Issue The first step for writing a persuasive essay is to decide what you are trying to persuade someone to believe.

3 Research It! Good research is critical to a successful persuasive essay. You must have content to back up your claims. Your claims must, in turn, be well documented and elaborated. Be careful to take detailed notes as you record information that documents both sides of your issue. You will be referring to these notes as you begin to draft your paper. You can find facts from a variety of different resources: encyclopedias, newspapers, magazines, textbooks, online interviews, public documents, and face-to-face interviews. Once your research is complete, you'll want to begin thinking through your process of persuasion.

4 Make Your Case and List the Arguments
You've gathered all the facts, now it's time to list the arguments both for and against your issue in a T-chart and begin planning the structure of your writing. It's impossible to persuade someone to believe your viewpoint without also considering the viewpoint of those who may disagree with you. Review your research and create a list of arguments for and arguments against your issue. Brainstorm as many examples as possible. Ultimately you will be choosing the three strongest arguments to include in the writing. (You may not agree with them though.)


6 Plan Your Structure Your paper will need to contain the following elements. Opening/Introduction: In the opening, you want to pull the reader in and give them a reason to keep reading, so start with a hook sentence. It works well to state your topic as an interesting statement or in the form of a question— Should pet owners dress their pets in clothes as humans? After the hook, introduce your readers to the topic and give a little background information. Follow up with the three reasons that support your position on the topic. Be sure to state your position on the issue within the last sentence of the paragraph.

7 Body: The body of your essay should contain at least three paragraphs
Body: The body of your essay should contain at least three paragraphs. Each of the three body paragraphs must state a different reason or viewpoint on your topic. Once you state the reason it then must be supported with evidence documented through your research. Don't forget the reason for examining an opposing viewpoint—you're trying to prove, through the use of factual information, why your opinion is better. Start each body paragraph with a transitional topic sentence that connects your last paragraph to what you will be discussing in the new paragraph. Within each body paragraph you need to be sure to use powerful transitional words and phrases as you state each point or detail that supports your reason. Be sure to include the two to three details or examples for each of your reasons.

8 Closing/Conclusion: The conclusion should always restate the issue and then quickly tie in the reasons examined in the three body paragraphs. After restating your thesis you then examine the opposition’s viewpoints to your reasons and provide a defense of those viewpoints leaving the reader with little to argue. You should never introduce new information in the closing. Simply summarize the arguments and then close with a powerful statement relating to your originally stated issue. Use a “call to action” statement to end your essay.

9 Before you start writing a rough draft:
Using the plans created in the last step, decide on a good beginning or "hook" that will grab the reader's attention. State your thesis and give a little background information. Make a T-chart of specific points you want to be sure and include in your final product. These points will serve as the main ideas for each of your three paragraphs within the body of your paper. (Highlight quotes and content that support the ideas you choose.) Decide on an effective ending for your report. Ask yourself what thought you want to leave the reader with or a thought that summarizes the overall viewpoint.

10 As you write your rough draft:
Focus on information and allow your ideas to flow freely. Avoid using: I, you, your, me, my, and statements such as “I will talk about,” “ I think,”and “the reason I …” Don't worry about grammar, spelling, and punctuation. You will correct your work later on.

11 A good persuasive essay draft includes:
all your thoughts as many details as possible complete thoughts and ideas facts to support your argument

12 Next, you'll want to revise your work.
Revision is especially important in persuasive writing—you want to be certain that you've presented the most compelling argument possible. This is the time to make sure that what you've written is easy to read, factual and above all, convincing. Remember, revising your work doesn't involve making changes to spelling, grammar, or punctuation (we'll get to that in the next step). Instead, the revision process concentrates on the content alone.

13 Use the revision process to accomplish the following tasks:
Add additional information that may be needed to better explain or describe elements of the essay. Rearrange existing information in a more logical order that flows well and makes your information easy to comprehend. Remove unneeded information that may detract from the overall message. Replace existing text with better wording or description that gives your paper a stronger argument.

14 As you revise your work, ask yourself the following questions
Is my position clearly stated and evident throughout the essay? Are my opinions clear and do my facts support my opinions? Does information flow easily from one paragraph to another? Did I stay focused on my point of view throughout the writing? Did I save the most compelling or strongest point for the end of the paper? Does my writing make sense? Am I convincing? Will my readers be convinced? Did I repeat any words or phrases too often?

15 EDITING YOUR PAPER While editing probably isn't your favorite step in the writing process, it is an important one—especially when it comes to persuasive writing. You're not likely to win many supporters for your arguments if your work is filled with misspelled words, grammatical errors, or punctuation problems.

16 Phrases to help introduce your counter argument
Others may believe….. It can be argued that…. Some people might say …. Another perspective is … One could argue…… Opponents disagree because … On the flip side….. On the other hand…

17 Capitalization Each sentence starts with a capital letter.
All names of people and places begin with a capital letter. Titles in a person's name begin with a capital letter. Each important word in a title (that doesn't refer to people) begins with a capital letter.

18 Organization Handwriting is neat or the paper is printed from a computer. Essay starts at the beginning, or with the most exciting information/facts. Introduction and conclusion make sense.

19 Punctuation Quotation marks surround all words that are part of a direct quote (if used). Commas separate items in a list, appear within sentences that have direct quotes. All sentences end with a period or other appropriate ending punctuation.

20 Spelling and Sentences
Words are spelled correctly. If you are using a computer, remember to use the spell check function. All sentences are complete and include a subject and a verb. All subjects and verbs agree.

21 REVIEW You're almost there! Use this step to make sure you've done all you can to get it right. You've drafted, revised, and edited your work. Now let's give it one more look.

22 Check your work. Read through your work from start to finish. Make any last minute changes you feel are necessary. Go to a quiet place and read the entire paper out loud. You'll be amazed at the number of changes you make once you hear it out loud. Now your paper is ready to be handed in to your teacher.

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